As a photographer you get asked a lot about what your “style” is.
Are you “bright & airy", “dark & moody", "Unposed” etc, etc.
I’ve struggled for years with trying to discover what my “style” was by always looking at outside sources in the industry for inspiration to help find my footing. It took me too long to realize that my style wasn’t like anyone else’s because no one is exactly like me.
So here’s a little bit about how I approach my work, my shooting & editing style, how I work with clients, and what is important to me in my business(and life)
The most important part of my approach is Connection.
The moments we share together will be happy and fun and full of love, sure, but there may also be tears, moments of anxiety, and some un comfort. I used to use the phrase “a fly on the wall” when it came to how I approached my work, but the truth is-I don’t want to be just a fly on the wall with you. I doubt you’re gonna connect well with a fly. Being a creative photographer has given me a gift of so many genuine opportunities to connect with cool, awesome and beautiful people and to capture & tell stories that are full of love, connection, and life. I want you to bring who you are-the good’s, and the bad’s. The weirdness and the beauty. Bring who you are, and I’ll meet you there.
I’m not here to capture models, or go for “the perfect picture” & I’m not going to photoshop you in a way that alters something about your body. Because that is not who you are, and that is not who I want to be.
You may show up to a shoot and worry about what to do with your hands, or what angles to position your head in, and thats okay. Everyone does. Don’t worry about it. Thats why I’m here yo! And honestly, I’m not focused on that stuff in the end- I’m focused on connecting with you, because when we form a connection - then capturing & telling the one’s between you comes naturally and we can create some badass art as well.
Personal-because(and this may sound redundant) but you are you, not anybody else. What I mean by this is: I believe that every person, and couple, and wedding, elopement & story are completely different. It would be unfair of me to come to all my couples & clients already knowing what I want to do or shoot without getting to know them. I’m not just going to be another vendor at your wedding. I want to capture, create and tell your story. You’ll be trusting and letting me into special moments in your life, and I want to be able to meet you there. So be yourself. If you like to hike, let’s go hiking! Love your dogs?! Bring them along!(mainly because I love dogs & want to meet them). I also personally shoot and edit every photo & video myself. I’ve never outsourced work. So share with me your story, what makes you unique, what fears you have and what inspires you, and I’ll do the same. & together we can connect, create and tell it together.
Sooo my work can be moody and dark-I mean like reallly moody and dark(& mysterious at times) & I really love Black & white images. Why you ask?? Weddings are supposed to be lovely and fun and happy & full of laughter right? Yes. Weddings are extremely fun, and there is a lot of love, and laughter and dancing, but I like embracing the shadows, not just in my life, but in my work as well; because I believe some of the most powerful & impactful moments in life can be felt by embracing not just the light, but the dark as well. The shadows prove the sunshine. And it's in these moments where I believe deep and raw connections are felt. I like to evoke this same connection in my work. I believe dark tones, and shadows, can carry powerful emotions and stories and I want to honor the fact that our stories and the love we share isn’t always perfect or dreamy. At times it feels lonely, and difficult and you may get your hands or dress dirty, but thats all a part of it.
This goes hand in hand with powerful, but I want the images and moments I capture to evoke emotion, not just the kind that will make you tear up, but the ones that will make you jump for joy, burst into laughter, cherish the warm hug of a friend, or inhale the silence right before a special moment. So yeah my tones may be dark and my colors moody, but I want you to feel and experience all the expressions of emotions you felt on your day. Because I will be there experiencing and expressing them with you. Smiles, tears, laughter, and maybe even a little sadness. Emotions can connect us to who we are, and the people around us. And capturing & evoking emotion is a focus of my work.
So I do not consider myself just another wedding photographer/videographer. I view what I do as an expression of art that we create together. If you choose me to shoot your engagement, wedding etc, then you are equal parts endowed with the power to create moments, images, & artwork that push the boundaries of imagination, emotion, and creativity. Got an idea you've never seen done before? Let's do it. I can do Weird. Cool. Epic. Whatever it is! I try and stretch my limits and do something out of the box whenever I shoot. I think this challenges us as individuals. Creativity is a powerful tool- a tool meant to be collaborated on & shared in and with. I don't take the work I do lightly- while I equally capture and create stunning images for you & your family, I also create from a place within myself as I view and capture the world.
So you ready to do this?
So I hope you learned a little bit about how I approach my work and what I strive to capture, create, and connect with.
I’ve learned that I have a talent at being able to connect with others even though I consider myself an introvert. I strive with these connections to not just make friends with you, but by becoming friends and building relationships this also eases any anxiety that can come with being in front of camera. Something we are not all used to. That’s why I try to always meet up with clients before we ever shoot to grab a beer, or coffee and just get to know one another.
So when it comes to “posed,” “unposed” etc I like to mix it up! I’m an easy going dude who is looking to capture and tell a story in a creative way. So lots of times I may set up a scene and have you all interact casually whether that’s getting to laugh at each other, some fun movements, or just taking in the moment together.
Other times I’ll try something a little more posed, and artistic that I find tells a part of the mood, or the vibe, but all adds to the story.
I also focus a lot on details. Especially ones that show connection. Whether that is the connection between the subjects in the images such as a couple’s hands together, or connection the subject has to the larger narrative- details of the venue, surroundings, nature, little candid moments throughout the day.
I cannot express in words how thankful we are that we chose Caleb & Amy to capture our day. Photo and video were at the top of my list and I wasn't willing to skimp on a few dollars for them. They exceeded our expectations! They are very genuine and such a pleasure to work with and not to mention their work is AMAZING!!! All of our friends and family have mentioned how our photos could be in magazines, and it is because of their quality and great eye for detail. I can promise you that when you choose Caleb Clayton you will not be disappointed!
- C & J